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The Digital Innovation Playbook: Creating a Transformative Customer Experience by Nicholas J. Webb

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Chapter 7

The Army Way

DIGITAL LEADERSHIP FROM A SURPRISING SOURCE

As your organization endeavors to rule the day in the digital environment, think about what you have at stake. If a blogger lets slip a trade secret, will anyone lose their life? If a commenter says something nasty about your business, could that endanger the security of the nation? In most cases, the answer would be no. But for the U.S. Army, a government organization usually thought to be steeped in bureaucracy and closed-door secrecy, the idea of social networking soldiers should seem ludicrous. Yet the Army is one of the leaders in the industry with a soldier-run blog and several other digital media endeavors. And how is this possible, you ask? I asked the same thing and found a fantastic tale of a strong, loyal relationship that goes both ways, resulting in an environment of trust and respect that allows the government organization to have an extremely open-door policy giving prospective enlistees—and anyone else—a glimpse into this 200-plus-year-old organization's daily workings. The digital media world could learn a lot from the U.S. Army.

Eye-Opener at Blog World

I'll never forget walking through the trade show at Blog World Expo in Las Vegas. I saw the companies I would expect to see that are mastering the digital domain—Ford, PepsiCo, Southwest Airlines, Google, Yahoo!, and all the rest. Seeing them there made perfect sense and it was great to see the enthusiasm with which these organizations were using ...

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